Waste, a local renewable source of energy

France’s 2015 energy transition law marked a turning point in waste management. It encourages us to transform our traditional waste treatment businesses into areas of expertise related to materials and energy recovery. A turning point anticipated by Veolia's waste solutions activity  in France as it has been developing innovative solutions for its customers in which waste becomes secondary raw materials or green energy.

No. 1 in the production of renewable resources

Transforming waste into resources is in Veolia's DNA . With the aim of becoming the go-to producer of renewable resources in France, Veolia has succeeded in making an uncertain raw material market a strength. And has seized the opportunities offered by the favourable European and French regulatory context: the "circular economy package " has the goal of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020; the aim of the 2015 law is to reduce the tonnage buried by 50% by 2025, i.e. 10 Mt diverted from landfill into the new recovery channels.

An energy deposit

Our Waste solutions activity now has considerable expertise in driving the development strategy of two major industrial sectors - the production of secondary raw materials and energy recovery . Each year, 4.6 Mt of waste is recovered in our facilities and more than 7,000 trees are saved thanks to recycling 1.5 Mt of paper and cardboard. Our electricity production - 1.5 TWh - would be enough to supply half of Paris for a year and the 1.9 TWh of thermal energy we produce would heat the urban agglomeration of Montpellier (France, 400,000 inhabitants). And finally, let’s not forget our already well established expertise in methane capture – methane has a heating power 28 times higher than that of CO2. Today, 100% of our waste storage facilities are equipped to recover heat and produce electricity. As a result, our waste solutions activity is the leading producer of green energy in the Île-de-France region (Paris suburb area).

Closing the loop

Engaged on continuous innovation, our waste solutions activity has been able to build original offerings, co-built with our customers. On the mature energy recovery market, we have just won the contract to build and operate an energy recovery unit for Grand Troyes (Aube region).  Beginning in 2020, we will treat 60,000 tons of household waste, which will be incinerated to produce energy for the district heating network and for local companies, including Michelin. This event - no call for tenders is expected in France in 2017 in this field - required the agreement of all the stakeholders, convinced of the benefits for the environment and the local economy from this type of industrial project. This success followed the renewal of operating contracts in Nancy, Sens and Le Mans in 2016.
Sustainable management of resources, promoting economic activities that help combat climate change, making territories attractive and creating local jobs... The circular economy is a tremendous driving force in establishing a recycling industry in France – an industry which over a period of three years could generate investment of up to €6 billion and create 40,000 jobs, including 10,000 permanent ones.